A nature reserve near Bodmin has been made accessible to all the public with the introduction of a new equal access board walk.
Until now, members of the public hoping to access the Chark Moor Nature Reserve had difficulty venturing to access terrain to see the beauty of the reserve, which in 2017 became part of the Mid Cornwall Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The site, managed by the Gaia Trust, comprises a rich mosaic of wetland, grassland and heath, providing a welcoming and variable habitat to a wide variety of plants and animals.
Now, thanks to the introduction of the equal access board walk, accessibility for the public to enjoy the land has been significantly improved and comes as part of the Gaia Trust’s ongoing mission of “farming for people and wildlife.”
In a ceremony which took place on Thursday, May 19, the new equal access board walk was opened by Andrew Williams, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, whose family once owned the moorland, along with Morley Richards, a local resident who used to spend time there as a child.
Andrew Williams, the High Sheriff of Cornwall and Lanhydrock resident said: “It is with great pleasure and honour that I, as the High Sherriff of Cornwall, officially open this boardwalk which will enable the public to interact with the wildlife in a managed way where they can engage through education and participation whilst enabling the wildlife to grow and develop in their natural habitats, especially the marsh fritillary butterfly.”
Cornwall is a stronghold for the rare Marsh fritillary butterfly. It is found at Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s reserve at Redmoor, just 500 metres from Chark, but hasn’t actually been seen at Chark since the late 1990s. The Gaia Trust’s management is designed to create conditions that will support its return.
Matt Edworthy, the Gaia Trust’s Director added: “As well as being a wildlife haven, Chark Moor is also well suited to being an outdoor classroom and location for health and wellbeing activities in nature like mindfulness, writing, painting, photography. The new boardwalk means that the site is ‘accessible to all’ and the interpretation boards along it tell the site’s story.”